Training is one of the most important functions of any manager. From top to the bottom levels of an organization, employees that are well-trained perform better, are more efficient and make greater contributions to the bottom line of the organization. When we discuss forklift operator training with our clients, there are three essentials they must commit to in order to take full advantage of the training we provide. This, of course, transcends forklift operator training and could apply to training in just about any other function within your organization.
Planning – Setting out on any quest, whether it’s comprehensive training or how your department will function, doing so without a plan, even a simple one will leave you wandering in the wilderness, drifting from one program to another, not sure if what you’re doing contributes or detracts from your quest.
Put together a plan, including what you want to accomplish, the steps it will take to get there and what you will do to maintain the levels of training you provide, as well as what you will do to take it to each “next level” once you have attained your planned levels of training.
Time – Nothing happens overnight, there is no magic elixir for time and practice committed to your plan. You can expand or contract the time it takes based upon your level and amount of training provided to do the job. Time can be your commitment, personally or the time commitment of external or outsourced training. Either way, it takes time with the trainer, then time practicing the skills by the employee, to hone them to an efficient and effective state. We have addressed how people learn in our Feature Article “The Four Levels of Learning.”
Resources – Time is one of your most valuable resources in any organization and we have addressed the need for that above. But you must also provide the resources for effective training. This can include time with a skilled trainer, a location to provide and practice the skills, equipment needed to learn and practice on as well as materials needed to support the training efforts.
Providing comprehensive ongoing training is an investment in your employees, your organization, and your bottom line performance. The results are usually commensurate with the levels of each of the three essentials we’ve listed. Invest in your bottom line with complete and professional training and watch the results compound for your company.
Docks are very busy places and represent a significant risk for an accident or incident, particularly when during busy seasons. There are some things you can do to reduce this risk and demonstrate the intention of creating a safe work environment for the employees that operate on or around your docks.
Most companies are in compliance with classroom and hands-on training when it comes to forklift operator training. However, many fall short when it comes to ensuring their forklift operators are trained to the unique characteristics that can create hazards in your warehouse.
As managers and owners, we want a safe work environment for all of our employees. Unfortunately, time passes quickly, and initiatives that were once important standards become guidelines or even merely suggestions. How can we ensure that when we put safety measures in place, they will stay in place?